PATRIOT FOIA

August 10, 2004
The USA PATRIOT Act, which the President signed into law only weeks after the September 2001 attacks, dramatically expanded the government's authority to monitor the activities of people living in the United States. Although public concern about the Patriot Act is widespread, the Justice Department has been tight-lipped about the way the FBI has implemented and used the new law. The unwarranted secrecy has meant that the public does not have the information it needs in order to determine whether new surveillance powers are actually making us safer or just undermining our freedom.

The ACLU and its allies believe that the public has a right to know how new surveillance powers are being used. To vindicate the public's right to information about government activity, the ACLU and other public interest organizations filed two requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking records relating to the Justice Department's implementation and use of the USA PATRIOT Act. Records obtained through these requests are posted below.

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In 8/2004, after almost two years of litigation, the ACLU entered into a settlement with the Justice Department that resulted in the disclosure of additional records, including a copy of the procedural rules of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The records obtained through the 8/2004 settlement are also posted below.

MATERIALS RELEASED BY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IN RESPONSE TO FOIA REQUESTS
> Procedural Rules of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
> Form letter used by FBI to order disclosure under Section 215
> Form used by FBI to apply for Section 215 orders from FISA court
> Form Section 215 order proposed by FBI to FISA court
> FBI internal e-mail discussing scope of Section 215
> Form used by FBI field offices to request Section 215 orders from FBI headquarters
> Memo delegating authority to approve Section 215 applications
> Memo indicating that FBI applied for a Section 215 order in 10/2003
> Memo for FBI field offices explaining Section 215
> List of National Security Letters issued by FBI between 10/26, 2001, and 1/21, 2003
> List of Section 215 applications submitted by FBI field offices between 10/26, 2001, and 2/7, 2003
> Memo discussing FBI authority to issue National Security Letters against individuals not connected to criminal activity or terrorism
> Memo discussing requirements that FBI must satisfy in order to obtain surveillance order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
> Memo discussing USA PATRIOT Act provisions "of most immediate interest" to FBI investigations

PRESS RELEASES
> Records Show That FBI Invoked Surveillance Powers (6/17/2004)
> ACLU Says That Patriot Act Has Been Misused, Extent Unknown Because of Government Stonewalling
(6/7/2004)
> Justice Department 5/Be Using Controversial Patriot Act Powers After All, Letter Reveals
(5/20/2004)
> Documents Show Ashcroft is Bypassing Courts With New Spy Powers, ACLU Says
(3/24/2003)
> ACLU Presses for Full Disclosure on Government's New Snoop Powers
(1/17/2003)
> ACLU, Justice Department, Agree on Deadline to Release Surveillance Records
(11/27/2002)
> ACLU Asks Court to Order Government to Immediately Account for its Use of Vast New Surveillance Powers
(11/13/2002)
> ACLU Asks Court to Order Government to Account for its Use of Vast New Surveillance Powers
(10/24/2002)
> ACLU Urges Continued Oversight, Additional Disclosures
(10/17/2002)
> ACLU Seeks Information on Government's Use of Vast New Surveillance Powers
(8/21/2002)

LEGAL PAPERS RELATING TO 10/2003 FOIA REQUEST
> Freedom of Information Act Request filed by ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and Freedom to Read Foundation (10/23/2003)
> Complaint
(12/10/2003)
> Government's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
(2/17/2004)
> Government's Motion for Partial Stay of Proceedings
(2/17/2004)
> Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
(3/1/2004)
> Plaintiffs' Response to Government's Motion for Partial Stay
(3/1/2004)
> Government's Reply
(3/15/2004)
> Plaintiffs' Reply
(3/22/2004)
> Opinion of Judge Huvelle
(5/10/2004)
> Order of Judge Huvelle
(5/10/2004)
> Order of Judge Huvelle
(5/21/2004)

LEGAL PAPERS RELATING TO AUGUST 2002 FOIA REQUEST
> Freedom of Information Act Request filed by ACLU, Electronic Privacy Information Center (8/21/2002)
> Complaint
(10/24/2002)
> Motion for Preliminary Injunction
(11/13/2002)
> Government's Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction
(11/22/2002)
> Government's Motion for Summary Judgment on Behalf of OIP & OIPR
(1/24/2003)
> Government's Motion for Summary Judgment on Behalf of FBI
(3/7/2003)
> Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment
(3/21/2003)
> Government's Reply
(3/28/2003)
> Plaintiffs' Reply
(4/4/2003)
> Opinion of Judge Huvelle
(5/19/2003)

PUBLICATIONS
> Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America
> Unpatriotic Acts: The FBI's Power to Rifle Through Your Records and Personal Belongings Without Telling You

> Insatiable Appetite: The Government's Demand for New and Unnecessary Powers After September 11

OFF-SITE LINKS
> Electronic Privacy Information Center
> American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

> Freedom to Read Foundation

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